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Pope Francis

Nicolás Maduro meets with the pope in surprise visit to Rome

October 24, 2016. Pope Francis met with Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. The private visit took place in the midst of the "worrysome political, social, and economic situation the country is going through, which is having serious repercussins in the daily life of the people,” according to a statement from the Vatican.

Holy See and Vietnam begin their 6th bilateral meeting today

October 24, 2016. The sixth meeting between the Holy See and a delegation of Vietnam begins today to improve relations between the two states. The Vatican delegation is headed by Antoine Camilleri, while the head of the Vietnamese delegation is Bui Thanh Son, with Foreign Affairs. The last meeting between the two state delegations was in September 2014.
Pope Francis

Pope to award 2016 Ratzinger Prize to Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles

October 20, 2016. The winners of this year's Ratzinger Prize will be Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. The former, an Italian priest, is an expert in Systematic Theology and History of Medieval Theology. The latter is Greek and an Orthodox. He is an expert in History of Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology. He will be the first Orthodox to be awarded the prize given by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, considered by many the Nobel Prize of Theology.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Thais after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

October 14, 2016. Pope Francis has sent a message to the Prime Minister of Thailand to express his condolences for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was 88 years old, and his reign spanned seven decades. Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened” and he expresses his closeness to the members of the royal family and the Thai people.
Pope Francis

Pope sends 100,000 dollars for Hurricane Matthew victims

October 14, 2016. Through the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Pope Francis will send $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The money will fund relief efforts in the first stages of recovery after the devastating effects of the hurricane. With this gesture, the pope wants to express his "closeness of spirit and fatherly support” to everyone in the affected area.
Pope Francis

Pope authorizes new decrees of heroic virtues for four potential saints

October 11, 2016. Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues to four people, who are being investigated by the Church for possible sainthood. The decrees were given to the following "Servants of God:”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis rejects death penalty on Twitter: #NoDeathPenalty

October 10, 2016. The Pope has has given his support via Twitter to the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The following message can be read in each of his nine accounts, in their respective languages: "Punishment should necessarily include hope! #NoDeathPenalty.”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis announces Synod about youth and vocation

October 6, 2016. It will be held in 2018 under the name "Youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” Preparations for the second Synod of bishops convened by Pope Francis are well underway.

Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:

Pope to Mafia: Change! This type of life will not give you joy or happiness


As Archbishop of Buenos Aires he helped victims of human trafficking. Now as Pontiff, he visited a local Roman parish to support the families of innocent people who were killed by the mafia. 

They gathered in Rome, but they came from all across Italy on the very day in which the country honors those who lost their lives senselessly at the hands of the mafia. 

"Look at us Holy Father, look at each and every one of us. See the pain in our eyes, after the loss of a father, a mother, a son, a brother, a sister, a wife, a husband. See how our expressions bare the pain of loss, but also of pride, courage and our will to live.” 

"Thank you, thank you for coming. You always ask us to pray for you, but today we ask you to also pray for us. Let us pray to God, so that He may give us the push we need to carry on.” 

The vigil was organized by 'Libera,' an Italian institution that fights against organized crime. Before reading a passage from the Gospel, the names of more than 800 victims of mafia violence, were read out loud before the Pope. 

In his remarks, Pope Francis addressed mafia members directly and asked them to change their lives.

"We pray for you to change. We are asking you, on our knees. It's for your own good. This life you live now will not give you pleasure, it will not give you joy, it will not give you happiness. The power, the money you have now, from dirty deeds, from many mafia crimes, this blood money, you can't take it with you to the next life. Change. You still have time to not end up in hell. That is what awaits you, if you continue down this path.”

The Pope thanked the victims for their testimonies and expressed his solidarity with them. He asked them to never stop fighting against corruption. After his speech, he spent several minutes greeting some of them personally. 

About 700 people attended the gathering, on behalf of more than 15,000 victims killed by the mafia.